NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A possible school bus driver strike could impact thousands of public school students in New York City.
New York City officials released an action plan on Monday ahead of the first day of school on Sept. 7.
Mayor Eric Adams and Chancellor David Banks say the plan would "proactively notify and help support families in case of a potential strike by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1181."
If the union strikes, it could affect some 4,400 routes across all five boroughs, potentially impacting 80,000 students, of which 25,000 are special education students. The plan is designed especially with those students in mind.
"Ensuring our students can continue to go to school and learn every day is our top priority. We have a plan in place to help ensure that, even if a strike by school bus drivers does occur this fall, parents will still be able to get their kids to school with minimal interruptions," Mayor Adams said.
He vowed the city would continue to monitor the situation and encourage the parties to remain at the bargaining table.
"We are working hard to plan for every alternative transportation service we will provide if a strike is called, and make families aware," Chancellor Banks said.
In the case of a strike, all impacted families would receive emergency MetroCards. They would be valid on MTA buses and subways (excluding Express Bus service) and provide a total of four trips and transfers daily from Monday through Friday between 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Some impacted families will be eligible for additional services, including:
- Reimbursement for Alternative Transportation - The NYC DOE is establishing a reimbursement system for families who must resort to taxis, rideshares, or personal vehicles due to the strike. A reimbursement rate of 58 cents per mile has been set, with a maximum reimbursement of $200 ($100 each way) per day.
- Rideshare for Affected Students and Families - Currently, the NYC DOE is planning to provide rideshare to some impacted families. Students using the rideshare option would be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Additionally, parents or guardians can use the service to be taken to work or a destination of choice within the five boroughs and be picked up from that location in the afternoon in order to pick up their student from school.
- Other Transportation Options - NYC DOE leadership continues to explore other transportation options that can be quickly made available to families.
If families have more questions about the action plan they can call the city's transportation Customer Service Unit at 718-392-8855.
The Amalgamated Transit Union is still negotiating with the city and looking for pay increases for drivers.
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